Appraisal of personnel management practices of secondary education management boards in south east nigeria.

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The study was conducted to appraise the personnel management practices of the Abia State
Secondary Education Management Board. The study was guided by five research questions with
five corresponding null hypotheses formulated. Literatures relevant to the study were reviewed.

A descriptive survey research design was adopted for the study. The population of the study consisted of 692 staff of the Secondary Education Management Board. The population was all the 264 senior Secondary Principals, all the 241 Junior Secondary Principals and all the 187 Senior administrative staff of the Board No sampling was made as the entire population of 692 was used for the study because it was manageable. A structured questionnaire was used for the study.

The instrument was face validated by three experts from the Faculty of Education,University of Nigeria, Nsukka and trial tested at Okigwe Education Zone of Imo State.

The internal consistency of the instrument was established using Kuder-Richardson and Cronbach alpha reliability coefficient methods. The overall coefficient value of 0.93 was obtained. 692 copies of the questionnaire were distributed and returned with the assistance of three research assistants. Data collected were analyzed using mean scores and standard deviations for there search questions while t-test statistics was used for the null hypotheses at 0.05 level of significance.

The results indicated that the Abia State Secondary Education Management Board comply to a very great extent with Personnel Management Manual on recruitment and posting ofstaff, staff development and training to a very great extent, staff welfare services to a great extent, staff discipline to great extent and staff appraisal to a great extent. Other results included that there is significant difference between the mean scores of secondary school principals and senior administrative staff of the Board on staff recruitment and posting, there is also a significant difference on staff development and training, there is significant difference on welfare services provided for personnel, there is significant difference on staff discipline and there is also significant difference on appraisal of staff by the Board. The five null hypotheses were therefore rejected.

Based on the findings it was concluded that both the principals of secondary schools and the senior administrative officer of the SEMB of Abia State are at variance in compliance with approved guideline on personnel management practices. The educational implications of the finding were also outlined.

The researcher recommended, among others, that the secondary education management board should ensure that issues relating to staff recruitment, development and training, welfare services, discipline, appraisal and promotion are taken seriously in conjunction with the principals, the Board should regularly organize seminars and workshops to improve staff skills and competence, the Board should also establish standardized procedures for the recruitment of staff, teachers should be encouraged to go for further training for effective and efficient delivery and achievement of educational goals and objectives.

Background of the Study
Personnel management is one of the most important and challenging functions of any organization because it constitutes the ultimate basis for the creation and utilization of the wealth of a nation. Okafor and Udu (2008) perceive management as a set of activities (planning, decision making, organizing, leading and controlling) directed at an organization’s resources (human, financial and physical) with the aim of achieving organizational goals in an efficient and effective manner. Personnel management is the acquisition of personnel or human resources and co-ordination of their performance within the organization.

Riches and Morgan in Uche (2009) explain that human resource management in any organization (education or otherwise) is part of the process of management in general that focuses on the people aspect of management, ensuring that the objective of the organization is met. In order words, personnel management is the effective utilization of people at work to achieve the aims and objectives of the
organization.It is in line with the above assertion that Peretomode (2004) asserted that,
personnel management acts as the wheel of progress in the realization of educational goals and objectives.

It means that without an effective personnel management, anorganization may find it difficult to achieve its set goals and objectives. Nwachukwu(2000), argues that for an organization to attain its desired objectives, it must seek to obtain the co-operation of the personnel working under it. It is clear that personnel management is challenging in every organization but far more challenging in educational institutions. This is because most of the activities in education deal with human beings.

The management of educational institutions is faced with not only the complexities of characters and behaviour of the staff, but also with those of the students and parents (Okoro, 2006). This means that the way and manner these chains of human elements are managed could affect the success of educational institutions.

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